By Mike Maltais
By identical 6-1 scores with different results, the Liberty Bell High School varsity baseball team beat Lake Roosevelt and then lost to Omak before trouncing Manson, 25-0 and 23-0, in a busy schedule last week.
The Mountain Lions stretched their unbeaten league record to 9-0 with the 6-1 win over the Raiders before the sobering 6-1 loss to the non-league Pioneers reminded the team that there are those days when the breaks just don’t go your way.
Liberty Bell pitchers Milo Holston, Derek Alumbaugh and Shane Higbee held the Raiders to only two hits en route to 14 total strikeouts. The Raiders scored their only run in the fifth inning, but were threatening a rally with the bases loaded and two outs when a diving catch by second baseman Riley Calvert left the runners stranded.
Of Liberty Bell’s eight hits, three came off the bat of David Dinsmore III, including two singles and a double that nearly cleared the fence.
Coach Don Calvert remarked that there comes the occasional game where “everything you hit goes right at someone,” which was the case against Omak.
“They hit balls that went to places where our guys weren’t,” Calvert added.
Omak pitcher Taylor Wineka held the Mountain Lions hitless through six innings, giving up one walk and an unearned run when Morgan Palm scored in the seventh inning off a sacrifice fly by Chip Jones.
“We only struck out three times and put a lot of ball in play but didn’t get any hits,” Calvert said.
“This is a team that has only lost seven games out of 40 over the past two seasons,” the coach said of his team’s consistency.
It was a dialed-in group that took the field at Manson for a doubleheader on Saturday (April 26).
“In those two games we had 37 hits to Manson’s three,” Calvert said. Both games ended after five innings.
Dinsmore took the mound for Liberty Bell in the first game and threw “the best game I’ve ever seen him pitch,” Calvert said.
Dinsmore struck out 11, walked three and gave up only two hits in the shutout.
Holston connected on 2-2 with a double and three RBIs. Dinsmore hit 3-6 with a triple and 4 RBI. Higbee went 1-2 “but one was good for three RBIs,” the coach recalled. Gavin Wengerd went 1-4 with a double and three RBIs.
Alumbaugh took over the mound for game two. He struck out nine, walked three and surrendered one hit.
Wengerd hit 3-4, knocked in five runs and “came within a single of hitting for the cycle,” Calvert said.
Wengerd had a home run, a triple and a double, but missed getting his single when he fouled out.
Jones hammered a home run and a triple, good for three RBIs. Cole Darwood hit 2-2 with a double and RBI. Logan Szafas was 1-2 with a double and two RBIs.
The Mountain Lions were scheduled to host Pateros Tuesday (April 29) for a doubleheader. Liberty Bell will play a doubleheader against Oroville at home on Saturday (May 3) starting at 11 a.m.